Is it the Boyne, or Scarva?

Nice line from Gerry Moriarty in the Irish Times today.

IS IT the Boyne or Scarva? Such was the question posed by a senior DUP source yesterday (which he couldn’t answer) about this standoff between Sinn Féin and the DUP over whether or not Gerry Adams will allow Peter Robinson to be elected First Minister tomorrow. If it’s the Boyne, as in the battle, then this could be a serious encounter between Sinn Féin and the DUP with the possible consequences of Assembly elections, and who knows what political crisis or crises thereafter.

Intriguingly, Sam Lister in the Belfast Telegraph notes that “speculation is mounting that Sinn Fein is being ripped apart by internal divisions sparked by pro- and anti-assembly camps.” It’s not something I can honestly say we’ve picked up here at Slugger, but it makes the statement from a DUP spokesman all the more intriguing:

“Whether Sinn Fein nominate or not, it’s not of huge concern to us. We are ready to fight an election. “It is not a wise course of action for them to take and I think some of the brains in the party will bring them to their senses.

In my own inquiries with the DUP, they did say that everything was working well and as normal up until two weeks ago when suddenly things began to go a bit sour. That would be just about enough time for the grass roots dissent over last year’s Ard Fheis motion on the devolution of Policing and Justice to make itself felt with the leadership.

In all honesty, that is not a problem the party can reasonably expect its political rivals and Executive colleagues to spend their own political capital in fixing. It’s strictly an internal matter for Sinn Fein. In which case it might be Scarva at Stormont, but a build up to the Boyne inside the party.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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